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Goaltender Cam Talbot on his time with Wild: ‘Unfortunately it didn’t work out’

The 35-year-old goaltender made it clear that he’s excited to be a part of the Senators moving forward.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild goaltender Cam Talbot (33) before the start of an October 2021 game against the Winnipeg Jets at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Talbot was traded to the Ottawa Senators this week.
David Berding / USA Today Sports

Cam Talbot spoke publicly on Thursday morning for the first time since the Wild traded him to the Ottawa Senators earlier this week.

The 35-year-old goaltender made it clear that he’s excited to be a part of the Senators, highlighting the fact that they signed veteran center Claude Giroux on Day 1 of free agency, and traded for dynamic winger Alex DeBrincat at the NHL Draft in Montreal.

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of the organization,” Talbot said. “I’m looking forward to stepping in and helping take this team to the next level.”

In that same breath, Talbot praised the Wild, making it clear that he has no hard feelings as he closes that chapter of his career.

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“Unfortunately it didn’t work out,” Talbot said. “They gave me an opportunity to be a starting goalie again in the league, and I can’t thank them enough. They put a lot of trust in me over the past couple of years and we went out and had one of the best seasons in Minnesota Wild history. I’ll never forget my time there.”

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The relationship with the Wild started on Oct. 9, 2020 when Talbot signed a 3-year, $11 million deal to be the unquestioned starter. He performed very well during his time in St. Paul, compiling a 51-20-9 record, 2.71 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.

When the Wild traded for future Hall of Fame goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury last season, though, Talbot gradually started to grow frustrated with his role. He was the backup for the opening-round playoff series loss to the St. Louis Blues, and while Talbot remained professional through it all, he admitted after last season that he wasn’t thrilled.

“Yeah, there’s obviously disappointment when the season finishes the way it finishes and I’m not the guy that’s starting in Game 1,” Talbot said.

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As tough as it was for Talbot to stomach at the time, he expected to be back with the Wild next season. It wasn’t until Fleury re-signed last week that things started to change.

While general manager Bill Guerin envisioned a 50-50 split between Fleury and Talbot, it wasn’t long before he realized that probably wasn’t going to work. He had a conversation with Talbot’s agent George Bazos at the draft. Both sides agreed to take a few days to calm down, and Guerin ultimately decided it would be best to turn the page.

“It played out in the media that maybe I had some ill will toward the organization or something like that,” Talbot said. “It wasn’t like that at all.”

Asked about his discussions with Guerin leading up to the trade, Talbot opted not to share the details.

“That’s between myself and Billy,” Talbot said. “We had some conversations and both sides kind of felt like this might be best.”

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As for his time with the Wild, Talbot made it clear that he has a lot of good memories that he will take with him. He talked at length about “the lifelong friends” he and his wife Kelly made along the way. He also reflected on getting to share the 2022 Winter Classic at Target Field with his family.

“Just being able to share it with my kids,” Talbot said. “They had such a blast being out on the ice. Just seeing their faces out there, and knowing they will remember that more than some of the other (Winter Classics) in the past, those are always great core memories.”

Aside from that, Talbot said he will remember his teammates, especially the culture they helped establish over the past couple of years.

“Honestly, it was a very special group that we were a part of,” Talbot said. “It’s always talked about in that room and in the media how close our group was. Those are some of the memories that I’ll remember the most from there.”

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